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Purchasing & Grants Manager

Cornell College
Mt Vernon, IA

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Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, Sponsored Programs, Grants & Contracts
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Cornell College invites applications for the position of purchasing & grants manager.  This position is responsible for providing professional advisory and technical skills necessary in the procurement process to acquire supplies, equipment, and services required by the institution in compliance with all laws, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures.

This position is also responsible for managing grants awarded to faculty members from outside organizations using knowledge of grant and contract management rules and regulations, technical expertise, and analytical skills to ensure compliance and successful management of grants through their lifecycles.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Sources products and services for Cornell College departments and projects. Creates, and implements, a buying strategy taking into account the budget and specified needs, and then finds matching vendors. Conducts competitive bidding and contract negotiation. 
  • Researches and determines the most economical methods for procuring materials and supplies based on need, cost, and storage facilities; coordinates with staff, faculty, and departments to ensure the best value following applicable regulations, policies, and procedures. Follows the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP)
  • Reviews financial terms and conditions of agreements; negotiates price, discount, and other terms and conditions with vendors.
  • Responsible for staying current on federal grant policies & procedures, grant-specific policies & procedures, and College policies & procedures relevant to procurement and grant awards.  Develop new and/or modified College policies through the established College process, as needed or when required by federal changes.
  • Coordinate initial meeting with relevant parties upon receiving grant award; set up account numbers with Business Services.
  • Participate in monthly reconciling of all grant budgets and expenses with the Staff Accountant. 
  • Prepare, coordinate, and review interim and final reports for grants (role will vary depending on grant type).
  • Review all expenses for accuracy and compliance with grant requirements; serve as second signature on these expenses.
  • Serve as an institutional resource on grant compliance, participate in the review of new funding opportunities, and provide critical feedback on institutional eligibility and risk.
  • Manage budget, reporting, and compliance timelines through the lifecycle of the grant or contract; communicate and/or set up automated reminders on these items with appropriate individuals involved in the grant.
  • Review and communicate award expiration dates, altered timelines, milestones, and major changes in budgets to appropriate staff (Business Services, Program, etc)
  • Train PIs (Principal Investigators) and others involved in the grant process on grant policies & procedures applicable to each grant.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Because Cornell College values diversity and strives to create a welcoming community in which all individuals are respected and included, the entire campus community is called upon to engage in dialogue around issues of difference, identity, and ideology. The college is committed to fostering a faculty and staff community that reflects our diverse student body. We encourage applications from candidates who share our vision for a campus that embraces differing backgrounds, viewpoints, and identities, and who will excel at mentoring students who are broadly diverse. (See our diversity statement here.)

About Cornell College

Cornell College is a selective liberal arts college distinguished by our Ingenuity curriculum that builds on the strengths of our One Course At A Time schedule. This combination encourages the qualities of being thoughtful, original, and inventive, using the strengths of a liberal arts education to apply ideas to solve problems and meet challenges through hands-on experience in learning. Academic immersion, Division III NCAA athletic teams, and unparalleled flexibility attract an ambitious student body from across the U.S. and worldwide. We are located in Mount Vernon, Iowa, an urban fringe community located in the heart of the ICR Iowa region.

Qualifications and Education Requirements

Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field with 1-2 years experience in a related professional-level position, such as contracting and acquisitions, project management, or compliance required. Previous purchasing experience preferred.

Preferred Skills

Organizational, analytical, and problem-solving skills. Knowledge and basic skills in purchasing, negotiation, compliance, and higher education. Experience in, or willingness to learn, grant administration and compliance. Excellent computer skills with knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite software, especially Excel. Ability to communicate effectively, interact professionally, maintain confidentiality, and handle multiple demands simultaneously and to a conclusion. Ability to perform self-directed work in a team environment.

Working Conditions

Work is performed primarily while seated in an office environment.  All requirements are subject to change over time, with possible modifications made to reasonably accommodate individuals with a disability.  This position works in-person with the option to work 1-2 days per week remotely after the first 90 days of employment. 

Cornell College offers a fantastic benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, HSA & FSA accounts, a TIAA 403(b) retirement account, and tuition remission and exchange for employees and dependents. We also offer life insurance, disability insurance, travel insurance, and accident insurance. And, all full-time staff begin with a 4-week vacation accrual along with 14.5 paid holidays per year. The hiring pay range for the position is $50,000 - $60,000.

Application Process

To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, and list of at least three professional references through Cornell College's online application system.

Cornell is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from women and minorities. Cornell complies with Iowa's Smoke-Free Air Act. Cornell utilizes E-Verify and requires satisfactory completion of a background check.


Cornell College is a nationally ranked, selective undergraduate liberal arts college of 1,000 students with a historic campus in the picturesque town of Mount Vernon, Iowa—a town distinguished by its vibrant local art scene and recognized by Frommer’s as one of "America's Coolest Small Towns.” Cornell College is highly regarded for the quality and distinctiveness of its academic programs, its first-class faculty, its engaged, talented students, and its distinctive One Course At A Time curriculum, which offers students a flexible and compelling learning environment. One of only 270 colleges in the United States to host an active chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Cornell College has been consistently ranked as one of the best values in higher education, and featured in Colleges That Change Lives.

The college is a member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, a consortium of 14 distinguished private liberal arts colleges (which include Carleton College, Grinnell College, Colorado College, Macalester College, and Knox College). Cornell boasts a student body that is at once national, international, and highly diverse: Students hail from 45 states and 18 foreign countries, with 27 percent students of color.

Small classes, the One Course At A Time curriculum, an undergraduate student/teacher ratio of 11 to 1, and accessible faculty are often mentioned by students as being among the strengths of the college. Cornell offers 36 majors, 28 minors, and 13 pre-professional programs.  In part due to the Block Plan, there are numerous opportunities for independent research in all disciplines, as well as a variety of internships that take advantage of the College's location near Chicago, St. Louis, and Cedar Rapids/Iowa City.  Featured interdisciplinary programs are Dimensions: The Center for the Science and Culture of Healthcare for pre-medical and health career preparation; the Berry Center for Economics, Business, and Public Policy studies; the Center for Law and Society; the Center for Literary Arts; the Cornell Summer Research Institute; and Cornell Fellows, a premier internship program.

Cornell graduates have contributed to society in all fields and endeavors and include recent recipients of the National Medal of Science, the Pulitzer Prize, and in 2012 the Black Engineer of the Year.

History: Cornell College open its doors in Mount Vernon, Iowa, in 1853, seven years after Iowa achieved statehood. Founded as the Iowa Conference Seminary, it adopted the name Cornell College and introduced a collegiate program in 1857.

Cornell was the first college west of the Mississippi to grant women the same rights and privileges as men, and, in 1858, to award a degree to a woman. Harriette Cooke, on the faculty from 1857 to 1890, was one of the first women in the nation to be paid a professorial salary equal to that of her male colleagues. Early in its history Cornell also adopted a policy of welcoming students of all religions and races. Its first black graduate, Frank Armstrong, class of 1900, served on Booker T. Washington's staff before going on to a career as a physician in Chicago.

Campus: Cornell is located on a beautiful, wooded hilltop in Mount Vernon, Iowa, just a few blocks from the town's historic main street. There are 44 buildings on 129 acres.  Cole Library is also the Mount Vernon public library, making it the only such library in the country.

Cornell is one of three campuses in the country listed entirely on the National Register of Historic Places—it was the first in the nation to be so listed—and the College maintains a longstanding commitment to maintaining its buildings even as it creates newer and more modern facilities. Recent examples include the award-winning renovation of the Thomas Commons in 2014, and the renovation of four first-year residence halls in 2015. Cornell has developed a master plan for continued improvement of facilities.

The President: Jonathan Brand has been president of Cornell College since July 2011. He holds a law degree from Cornell University, a master's degree in French literature from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor's degree in history and French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In his years at Cornell, he’s overseen the renovation of the Thomas Commons and four residence halls, as well as the opening of the McLennan Center in Chicago, the creation of the Center for the Literary Arts, the creation of the Cornell Summer Research Institute, the transition from nine to eight terms a year, and the addition of majors in engineering and business. In addition, he has worked closely with the college’s board of trustees, met with students, faculty, and staff, and traveled extensively to meet Cornell alumni.

Before coming to Cornell, he served as President of Doane College in Crete, Nebraska for six years and as Vice President of Institutional and Budget Planning and Special Assistant and Counsel to the President at Grinnell College for seven years.

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